heartland writers archive

2000 'Great Beginnings' Competition Rules

The Contest Committee reserves the right to consolidate any categories that receive an insufficient number of entries.

Fiction ...



Mainstream/Single Title: Any work of popular fiction that would be published as an individual title and would not fall into a clearly defined category of genre fiction.

Category Romance: Romantic novels suitable for publication as part of a series such as Harlequin Steeple Hill, Silhouette Special Edition, Harlequin Temptation, etc.

Single Title Romance (Contemporary/Historical/Futuristic): Romantic novels that would be published as individual titles, not as part of a series.

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Other Genre Fiction: Such as Men's Adventure, Western, Mystery, etc.

Young Adult

Submit a synopsis that does NOT exceed 7 pages and the first chapter.

Specify category being entered, ie:

  • Novel, Genre Fiction, Western
  • Novel, Mainstream Historical
  • Novel, Contemporary Single Title Romance

NOTE: If you are submitting a Series Romance it will be helpful to the judges if your cover pages state which specific lines your manuscript targets.


Submit a one (1) page treatment and the first 50 pages


Maximum length of manuscript is 2,500 words


Send entire manuscript



Maximum length, 2,500 words


Submit a two-page project overview, an annotated table of contents and the introductory chapter.

Specify category being entered:

Nonfiction, Article

Nonfiction, Book, History


Send entire poem.

Prizes ...

FIRST PLACE entries in each category will receive an engraved plaque.

SECOND PLACE entries will receive an honorable mention certificate.

Finalists will be judged by editors, agents, or other professionals specializing in the respective category of writing.

Contest finalists will be announced during Saturday's luncheon. Awards will be presented during the evening banquet on Saturday, June 6.

Entry Guidelines...

DEADLINE: Manuscripts must be postmarked no later than Friday, March 20, 1998.

HANDLING FEE: $15.00 must accompany each manuscript entry.

To enter the writing competition you must attend the conference.

PictureEach SUBMISSION must include 2 (two) cover pages:

COVER PAGE #1 should contain:


TITLE of the work

The name of the CATEGORY being entered

Actual or anticipated length of completed manuscript (for book length entries and screenplays only)

The anticipated MARKET for the work. Be as specific as possible.

Fiction, Romance, Silhouette Desire or Harlequin Temptation

Fiction, Short Story

Fiction, Genre Fiction, Western

Nonfiction, Book, History

COVER PAGE #2 should include all of the above information EXCEPT your name, address and telephone number.

Do NOT include your name on any page other than the first cover page. Entries are numbered and judged on merit relative to other submissions.

General Guidelines:

Your work must NOT have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.

You may submit a maximum of 3 (three) entries. However, you may submit no more than 2 (two) entries into any one category.

If you have been published in a category, you may NOT enter that category.

Manuscripts, synopses, and treatments must be double spaced. Screenplays must be in the appropriate screenplay format. Letter quality dot matrix print is acceptable.

Send entry loose-leaf, do NOT bind in any way.

Send TWO (2) COPIES of each submission. Retain an original copy!

Evaluation Sheets will be returned to each entrant Saturday night after the banquet.

Entries will not be returned.

Please note: Winning DOES NOT guarantee publication or representation.


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